Week 8 will again bring a big shakeup to the weekly rankings universe as we try to dissect what the fall out of key injuries will be for offenses. That is by far the toughest part of weekly rankings. Sure, there are the same names every week that move a few spots up or a few spots down based on recent form and matchup, but the injury bug makes every week look so much different outside of quarterback. 

As you know, the injury report is always developing which is why I’m going to reiterate the importance of checking back with this post as the week progresses. I also shift the names around on Saturday and Sunday while I dive more and more into games progressively through the week. My final product can be found in my weekly Sunday Primer. The teams on byes this week are Washington Football Team, Arizona Cardinals, Jacksonville Jaguars, and the Houston Texans. Here is an early look at my rankings for week 8. 

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Seven weeks of NFL action are now in the past and the sample size makes it more difficult to find easy trade targets. But there is still value and volume to be found in both the trade market and on the waiver wire. Be sure to check out AlFFred AKA the BOOF’s waiver wire article that came out earlier today. In this week’s edition, every player’s situation is in some way affected by an injury on their offense. 

Sometimes a player’s misfortune leads to a new opportunity in this dog eat dog world of fantasy football. But on the bright side, we will soon be getting a few of fantasy stars back in line ups. By week 9, we should have Christian McCaffrey, Nick Chubb back and although news hasn’t been great with Michael Thomas the last couple of weeks, he could be back in the fold that very same week. Keep those names in mind as targets as you are sending out trade offers this week to teams that are desperate for wins now to stay alive for the playoff hunt.

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What. A. Mess. Have mercy on us, 2020. To anyone who owns or has ever owned a pet, or is a parent, you may have experienced a scenario much like the one I am about to lay out. You turn your back for a few minutes, heck, maybe even just a few seconds. Perhaps you had to take the garbage out, or quickly snuck away to take a shower, and left your furry friends unsupervised for a brief moment. Upon your return, you are shocked to find the stuffing of a destroyed pillow strewn about the room, or a box of tissues shredded throughout your home — maybe, for the most unfortunate of souls, even some poopy footprints scattered across the floor. That feeling is what Week 7 felt like, at least to me. We let our guard down for just a second, reclined on the couch to relax and enjoy a pleasant Sunday afternoon of football — and we returned to reality to find an array of crap flung all across our roster and, more importantly of course, the top 60 rest of season running back rankings. Sure, we didn’t see the high-caliber superstars do gown that we saw earlier in the season, but that’s more so because, well, there are only a few healthy ones left unscathed at the position as is.

Let’s run through it. Chris Carson. Kenyan Drake. Devonta Freeman. Phillip Lindsay. Thankfully, one previously injured back, Raheem Mostert, was replaced via a breakout from Jeff Wilson, who finished as Week 7’s RB1 with 31 half-PPR points. Oh, yeah. Right. INJURED. Out several weeks. Then we have the lingering injuries from Week 6 that are accompanied by just as much, if not more, uncertainty than the aforementioned names. Miles Sanders. Joe Mixon. Let’s go a degree deeper. Nick Chubb. Austin Ekeler. All of this, crumpled together one layer after another, has created arguably one of the most clouded RB groups in recent memory. Even the top 24 is incredibly weak, relatively speaking, at the tail end. It’s ugly — and it’s tough to project considering many of these injuries come with timetables of “several weeks.” Or “for a while.” I especially get a kick out of “some time” and wouldn’t be surprised to hear a head coach give a *shrug* followed by “beats me, man, you heard anything?”

In this week’s column, I’ll do my best to make sense of it all. The rest of my colleagues here at Razzball are doing an incredible job attempting to do the same at their own respective positional assignments, so be sure to check out all of our rest of season positional fantasy football rankings. Before I get to mine, let’s take a quick trip around the league.

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I hope for your sake that you were busy Monday night and unable to watch the Bears vs. Rams puke fest. Here’s how bad the game was: the undisputed player of the game was Rams’ punter Johnny Hekker. In all fairness to Hekker, the man can punt with the best of em. All five of his kicks pinned the aimless Bears offense inside the 10 yard line, and he booted a 63 yarder down there too. Needless to say, if you own Hekker in a punter league—I’m sure these actually exist—then you had a great fantasy night; unlike the rest of us. Fantasy Lord willing, this will be the last time I ever write an intro about a punter. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday for fantasy football:

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B_Don and Donkey Teeth are back after most of week 7 is in the books (just waiting on MNF). Missing the double header from last week, but we take a look at the happenings from week 7. 

Chris Carson left the game with a mild foot injury so we talk about where Carlos Hyde might rank among potential waiver wire targets. Speaking of injuries, we look at the Cardinals RB situation following Kenyan Drake and our expectations for Chase Edmonds.

The guys move on to talk about the Cowboys and Ezekiel Elliott. Should you be concerned ROS for Zeke? Where does he fit in among RBs? DT and B_Don let you know their opinions. 

Next, the OBJ injury was tough, and what kind of FAAB we might be dropping on potential replacements for the Browns. We both scoff at the idea that the offense will be better without OBJ as some have suggested. Speaking of tough Ohio WR situations, we discuss where A.J. Green and Tee Higgins fit in among WRs. 

Moving on to an equally cloudy situation B_Don asks DT if it’s time that we can trust D’Andre Swift. We wrap up with a quickfire of questions about Rob Gronkowski, Josh Allen, and where Tua Tagovailoa fits in at QB for the rest of the season. 

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It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood. A beautiful day in the neighborhood. Won’t you be…….SMASH! BAM! PUKE! SLAM! Unless you drafted Travis Kelce, George Kittle, Mark Andrews, or Darren Waller, the tight end position has likely caused you to throw remotes at the television or sulk, cry, assume the fetal position, then cry some more. But have no fear. Rather than wandering aimlessly in a GTA-esque fashion, there may be a short-term alleviation of your pain, as Richard Rodgers has entered the neighborhood and is prepared to throw a block party. Wait, bad choice of words. A catch party is more like it, but in this Rona world, that could be a troublesome phrase. 

Rodgers is 28 years old, 6′ 4″, and 257 pounds. He played his college ball at the University of California Berkeley and was selected by the Green Bay Packers in the third round of the 2014 NFL Draft. During his four year stint with the Packers, he played in 63 games and received 181 targets and caught 120 for 1166 yards and 13 touchdowns. In 2018, he was signed by the Philadelphia Eagles. Unfortunately, the next two years were mired by multiple injuries resulting in only eight games played, 1 reception, and injured reserve settlements. He signed with the Washington Football Team in 2020, was released, then ended up back with the Eagles.

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You likely haven’t heard this story before. It was kept under tight wraps by the request of San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan. Back in his days as a graduate assistant at UCLA, Shanahan jumped on a plane to go see his dad Mike who was coaching the Pro Bowl out in Hawaii. But Kyle’s plane never made it to Hawaii, crashing mid-flight. As the lone survivor, Kyle Shanahan found himself living on a deserted island for four years with only a volley ball to keep him company. Shanahan named his volley-ball-companion, Jeff Wilson. True story. Cut to 13 years later and Shanahan nostalgically handed the non-volley ball version of Jeff Wilson 17 carries for 112 yards, 2 catches for 8 yards and his 2nd, 3rd and 4th touchdowns as he bulldozed the New England Patriots’ run defense. Even the great Pigskinonator didn’t see this coming! Unfortunately, Wilson left the game with an ugly looking ankle injury sustained on that 3rd TD run. Look for JaMycal Hasty (9 carries for 57 yards, 1 catch for 16 yards) and Jerick McKinnon (3 carries for -1 yard) to reform a committee until Raheem Mostert (ankle) returns. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday for fantasy football:

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You know how when people post pictures of their kids on Facebook doing things like petting a dog or taking a bite of food and they say something like “my heart is full” or “my heart might explode”? Well that’s how I feel about the Big Ten playing football again. It brings a bit of normalcy back to my life in a year that’s been interesting to say the least. 

Speaking of interesting, what does Antonio Brown have going on with Tom Brady? Tom let Brown live with him when AB signed in New England and now he brings him to the Bucs.. Hmmm.. Maybe Giselle has a new appetite to worry about with Tom outside of him liking to kiss his kids for a little too long. I really wonder how many games Antonio Brown will actually play once his suspension is lifted. Is AB able to find a helmet that he’s willing to wear while simultaneously following Covid protocols? With Mike Evans and Chris Godwin both a bit gimpy, Tampa could use the help if AB has his stuff together. It’s probably worth a shot for Tampa at the price tag that they’re paying.

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Another week on the razors edge of pandemic pandemonium is in the books. Positive tests and quarantines abound. Here’s hoping your fantasy assets aren’t tied to a team that may be forced to play without it’s entire offensive line.

  • I’m as happy as the next D’Andre Swift backer that he broke out with two TDs last week. They made up for his still restricted usage of 17 touches to Adrian Peterson’s 16. That could tell two stories. A young back being brought along gradually after an early season soft tissue injury and trending upward. Or a rookie stuck in a rotation by a staff archaic enough to let that matter. We’ll get more proof in this week’s pudding against a Falcons team that has been shredded by pass catching backs. 
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